Thursday, July 30, 2015

English Teachers - The Stranger Bundle offers a triple combo learning knockout

The Stranger Unit Plan
Years ago, after I first read the opening paragraph of Albert Camus' The Stranger, I threw the book across the room, almost sideswiping my husband's head as he innocently strolled into the family room. What kind of callous individual would say, "Maman died today.  Or yesterday, maybe. I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.'  That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.,"?

How was I ever going to teach this core book in my school's program of studies - to expect my students to read it- when I couldn't even get beyond the first paragraph?

The problem was, Meursault intrigued me.  I couldn't wipe him from my mind. Neither did I want to. I needed to find out what drove a person to be so could, so existential, so I kept reading... and teaching.

Over the decade and a half that I taught this book, sharing my insights with my students and reveling in their analysis of this man, I came not to like Meursault, but to respect him, and, yes, to even admire his strength and honesty to be his own person- to live according to his beliefs and values.

By the time that I had completed the first study of Meursault with my students, he remained a stranger no more.

By the time years of students and I delved into the meaning of existentialism and discussed our interpretations, this philosophy no longer created a muddled puddle in my mind.

By the time years of students and I compared and contrasted Albert Camus-his personality, his beliefs, his values and his life- I understood how he could create characters like Meursault, Sisyphus (The Myth of Sisyphus) and Dr. Bernard Rieux (The Plague).

My unit plan, PowerPoint and Bulletin Board packets are the result of these years of dissecting this complex novel, its author and his philosophies. I have used them as the backbone of this study, tweaked them for what worked and what didn't, and revised them so you, my colleagues, would have a foundation for your  examination, scrutiny and analysis of The Stranger, Albert Camus, and existentialism.

Here are the brief descriptions of this triple combo learning knockout 

The Stranger Unit Plan                  
Aligned with the Common Core principles, this 68-page unit has been detailed and developed for clarity, depth, comprehension and analysis. It includes a table of contents, 40+ handouts, day-by-day lessons with 4 pages of Teacher Notes on Existentialism, Albert Camus, “The Myth of Sisyphus” and more. Three types of essay assignments, one class project, nine individual projects, five quizzes and one test (all with an answer key) round out the packet. 


The Stranger Unit Plan

The Stranger Part I Death graphic

The Stranger PowerPoint             
This is a 12-slide PowerPoint on the novel, “The Stranger,” by  Albert Camus, Existentialism, “The Myth of Sisyphus,” and more. I created it to integrate with the introductory and follow-up discussions in my The Stranger Unit Plan. 


The Stranger PowerPoint

The Stranger PowerPoint  Existentialism slide

The Stranger Bulletin Board       
The Stranger - Bulletin Board, was created in conjunction with high school students' study of this existential novel by Albert Camus. The purpose of this product is to offer teachers material for an interactive bulletin board that ties in with both The Stranger Unit Plan  and The Stranger PowerPointThis 17-page packet contains topics such as
Albert Camus
Albert Camus' Writing Style
Existential Theme Topics
Existentialism Means... No Excuses
Existential Beliefs
Existential Thinkers
The Myth of Sisyphus
Camus Quotes


The Stranger Bulletin Board Albert Camus SLide

The Stranger Bulletin Board Albert Camus slide

The Stranger Bundle

All three items - The Stranger Unit Plan, The Stranger PowerPoint and The Stranger Bulletin Board- compose this 98-page bundle. Together, they create a triple combo learning knockout.
Plus, teachers, you can purchase this bundle for the discounted price of $25.00, and enjoy this triple threat in one file.

The Stranger Bundle

Whether this will be your first or fifteenth year teaching The Stranger, these products will lighten your planning load, and will offer your students a plethora of learning activities. 

In fact, here are four totally new ideas that aren't included in any of these products They just came to me as I wrote this post.
  1. Students could create a Pinterest Board on The Stranger, Albert Camus and existentialism, using any of their completed activities as well as pictures of their own making or choosing.
  2. Students could create a journal that Meursault might have done by combining original content that they have written from Meursault's point of view as well as graphics and art that he might have included. Note- students will need to find art that was created prior to the book's first publication in 1942.
  3. Students could make a scrapbook of journalism stories- news, feature, sports, entertainment- from print or online media that tie in/reveal the philosophies and themes in this novel. They may make this using an online publishing program or by copying and pasting items that they wish to include.  Along with each item, they must discuss, in writing,  how this piece connects with the book, its themes and philosophies. 
  4. Students could use the same scrapbook idea explained in idea #3, but instead of journalism stories, they could choose people from today's world who reveal the same values, beliefs and philosophies in their lives, words and actions. Here, they would include direct quotations from the people that they select as well as brief summaries of their actions.
Introduce your students to Meursault, so he will no longer be a stranger.

Enjoy a Teach It Now Day Every Day,

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